My First Gulfstream In 1998, Vanity Fair published this account by an anonymous "information entrepreneur" (rumored to be Nathan Myhrvold) about the process of buying a private jet.
Rex Ridenoure's sister, LouAnn, a Southwest flight attendant, was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer. "As he waited to board a Southwest flight to see her, partially fearing he wouldn't make it in time to say goodbye, Ridenoure decided he would somehow turn his cross-country journey into the proper farewell celebration she deserved."
The Daily Overview takes a zoomed out look at our world to give us all a little perspective. There's a daily feed, or a top ten. Some highlights here on It's Nice That.
WK Fine Tools is an internet magazine devoted to traditional and fine woodworking. The site also maintains curated collections of downloadable woodworking books and tool catalogs and manuals. [more inside]
Don’t Want Me to Recline My Airline Seat? You Can Pay Me [New York Times]
"...airline seats are an excellent case study for the Coase Theorem. This is an economic theory holding that it doesn’t matter very much who is initially given a property right; so long as you clearly define it and transaction costs are low, people will trade the right so that it ends up in the hands of whoever values it most. That is, I own the right to recline, and if my reclining bothers you, you can pay me to stop."
Back in 2012, fashion photographer and filmmaker Milton Tan shot a time lapse film over a six month period, of planes overflying Singapore's Changi Beach on their way to and from Changi airport. After his "The Air Traffic" video went viral, managers at the airport made Tan an offer: six months of access to a restricted runway for a second film: The Air Traffic Two. (Via) [more inside]
"Normal return route canceled. Proceed as follows: Strip all company marking, registration numbers and identifiable insignia from exterior surfaces. Proceed westbound soonest your discretion to avoid hostilities and deliver NC18602 to marine terminal La Guardia Field New York. Good luck." [more inside]
Just in time for holiday travel, the FAA now approves use of portable electronic devices for the entire duration of your flight.
Heathrow Approach Planes lining up on approach to London Heathrow at 17x speed. Strangely hypnotic slyt.
JetBlue names all of its jets with a variant of "blue" in the title. Blue Suede Shoes. Bright Lights, Blue City. The Name is Blue. JetBlue. If You Can Read This, You're Too Blue Close.
X Planes, a tumblr. x planes is a tumblr devoted to historical aviation, and with a specific interest in experimental aviation. [more inside]
When it comes to hand tools, many woodworkers will tell you that they just don't make 'em like they used to. Unfortunately, making sense of the myriad versions and model numbers of antique hand tools can be a daunting task. Fortunately there's Patrick's Blood and Gore for Stanley hand planes, the Disstonian Institute for Disston saws, Old Tool Heaven for just about everything ever made by Millers Falls, and HyperKitten, which includes pages on Metal Routers, Stanley Bench Planes, and Harvey W. Peace saws. [more inside]
Evan Osnos joins a tour group from China as they traverse Europe. In the front row of the bus, Li stood facing the group with a microphone in hand, a posture he would retain for most of our waking hours in the days ahead. In the life of a Chinese tourist, guides play an especially prominent role—translator, raconteur, and field marshal—and Li projected a calm, seasoned air. He often referred to himself in the third person—Guide Li—and he prided himself on efficiency. “Everyone, our watches should be synchronized,” he said. “It is now 7:16 P.M.” He implored us to be five minutes early for every departure. “We flew all the way here,” he said. “Let’s make the most of it.” [more inside]
If a bear destroys your plane in the woods you can use duct tape to fly it home. If you're crazy. Or brave. But it's more proof that duct tape can fix anything.
August Wind is a top-down 'free-roaming shooter' about mining valuable metals off the backs of cloudeels. It's the Bachelor Thesis project for Jeremy Spillmann at the Zürich School of the Arts. It features charming 2D graphics and a gypsy soundtrack. [more inside]
The ring wing or annular airfoil is an aircraft design which has been experimented with throughout the history of aviation with some interesting variations. It has served as the inspiration for several paper airplane designs, model airplanes of course, and a variety of children's toys. The capabilities imagined by the French coléoptère engineers of the 1950's and 1960's and the U.S. "flying tank" designers are available today at least in the form of unmanned vehicles (large PDF brochure, 6 minute video download, 1½ minute YT news clip). The technology has also been adapted to become the surfboard tunnel fin and there are underwater UAVs as well.
Building and flying free flight model airplanes is a pastime so obscure it doesn't even register on the geek heirarchy. But in the period between Lindberg's flight across the Atlantic until the start of the Second World War, thousands of boys (and some girls) around the world succumbed to the allure of rubber, lube, and dope. [more inside]
Machu Picchu Post. Cute animation about an air mail pilot in the Andes and his strange encounter with a boy and his llama. [Via]
Though the B-2 Spirit is perhaps the best-known of the flying wing designs, its creation came almost 50 years after the earliest attempts at creating fixed-wing aircraft with no definite fuselage. The first prototypes of Frenchman Charles Fauvel's flying wings followed the patent on his formula for the flying wing in 1929. Jack Northrop's newly formed Northrop Aircraft Co. created the first flying wing for the United States in 1940, dubbed Northrom N-1M "Jeep". But it was the Horten Brothers, German aircraft pilots and enthusiasts, who created the first fully-functional stealth flying wing: the Horten Ho IX. [more inside]
Ask the Pilot. Columnist Patrick Smith explains why you shouldn't be afraid of flying. [more inside]
United Airlines settles suit over hidden porn United Airlines has settled a federal sexual-harassment lawsuit filed by a former pilot who grounded herself after repeatedly finding pornography hidden in the cockpits of domestic airline flights. Before settling, the airline appeared to equate art nudes and porn as part of its defense. The idea of cockpit-as-boyzone has been shot down before. [more inside]
Stories that Fly is a citizen media project that features a growing collection of digital stories about general aviation. The stories are contributed by student journalists, aviators, and interested community members and cover regional airports, events, and people in the Ohio aviation community.
Infrastructurist. Although the blog is only a few days old, they've already debunked some of the myths of 24, interviewed Michael Dukakis, and grappled with Amtrak economics.
DARPA, the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has issued a call for proposals for submersible aircraft concepts. Although the idea has some pedigree, and there was actually a flying, diving prototype called the Reid Flying Submarine RFS-1 back in the sixties, one must wonder whether it is really of any use. [more inside]
"Once Upon A Time... there were two very special airplanes that lived.... far.... far.... away on a tiny island in the Bering Sea. One was named Rivet Ball and the other was named Rivet Amber. Very few people knew anything about these two planes or the men that flew them. Even family members knew very little. That's because their mission was... TOP SECRET." (some photos and language within are NSFW) [more inside]
Wired: "In February, a B-2 stealth bomber crashed in Guam. Now we know why. And we've got video of the scene." (good stuff starts around 1:20)
The lavishly-furnished custom Boeing 727 figures in the current tempest over his relationship with female lobbyist Vicki Iseman who provided and flew with McCain on the plane. Lots of colorful background in this investigative report by Daniel Hopsicker, the best muckraker since Gary Webb [more inside]
Russian cold war bombers - The Tu 95 Bear and Tu 160 Blackjack, based in central Russia, which resumed long range patrols in August.
Airline Branding Weblog. Can you say "Awesome"?
Pilot tells of hairy near miss at Las Vegas airport A post on Airliners.net telling, in some detail, of a near miss between an America West Airbus A320 (piloted by the author) and an Air Canada plane at Las Vegas airport. And if that puts you off flying, to calm down, another pilot's account, of a less hair-raising flight.
Luigi Colani, Biomorphic Designer — This prolific master of plastic has been creating organically streamlined planes, trains, automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, ships, cities, homes, computers, cameras, televisions, furniture, pianos, ceramics, shoes, eyewearPDF, pens, airbrushes, and other wonderful stuff (including the kitchen sink) for some 60 years. Wherever you need to go, you can reach your final destination in Colani style. More designs here, here, here, and here. [Brits and touristas take note: London's Design Museum will host a Colani exhibition, Translating Nature, from March 3 to June 17, 2007. Bibliophiles can check out the book Colani: The Art of Shaping the Future.]
An interesting project from the latest Vectors Journal. "Legend has it that Paglen, who has been called the Fox Mulder of cultural geography, was personally instrumental in provoking the military to extend the perimeter around Area 51 by several miles in an attempt to thwart one of his counter-surveillance efforts" [via]
Tales of Future Past* — It's been a looong Monday. Do you want to get off the planet and out of the city to a place where you can really live? Well, here's some food for thought on the way home down life's highways. First, take a break from all this depressing war talk. Then empower yourself by giving yourself some space and maybe taking off for a few days. Drive just a bit slower, turn up the volume and imagine that your mechanic will say the tranny's OK after all. Once you're in the front door, take time to get slightly wired and forget all about politics. Get recharged for tomorrow: have a nice long bath, put your mind at ease, watch Ur Fave shOw, and listen to some soothing music. Now, don't things look a lot better? [*Note the 'Start the Tour' links at the bottom of each page.]
Skyrates, pronounced like "pirates," is a new flash game currently open for beta testing. Designed by a group of seven students at Carnegie Mellon University, the concept was to create an MMORPG that you could simply check on every few hours throughout the day, like you would with your e-mail. The outcome is a simple but enveloping, and somewhat silly game that manages to be addictive as hell while only taking up a few minutes per day. (plus it's free.)
snake on a plane? (newsfilter-ish)
Enplaned Even if you don't care a whit about the airline inductry, this is a great example of how to blog a topic well. [via Joel on Software]
Asymmetric airplanes may look weird, but the idea isn't just for the luftwaffe anymore: Burt Rutan has done one too. Not counter-intuitive enough for you? How about an asymmetric helicopter?
Note the champagne boxes. Lots of amazing interior and aerial photos of the new Airbus A380 are up on Airliners.net. It's a huge, huge plane. [There is more inside.]
"People were tripping over each other, climbing over the seats to get to the exit." Warbaby posted a link on July 7 to an article by Lee Clark that said people don't panic in disasters. Survivors from Tuesday's Toronto plane crash give a different story. Here's one account: Ho said people at first were calm and lining up, but once fire from the back of the plane, "people were tripping over each other, climbing over the seats to get to the exit." He said a flight attendant told him to jump out the front door with no chute, but it was about a 12-fioot drop. He ran to a second door. It had a damaged chute, but he took it. "I jumped and fell onto some people," Ho said. "Some people broke their arms or legs."
The end of Concorde was one of the few times in modern history that technology has been forced to regress. But it won't take long to fix.
The Oops List. Enjoy the pure pleasure of the misfortune of others.
Fantasy Planes. Sometimes I think the most interesting airplanes are the ones that never got built
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